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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am a land lady who is being taken to court by my

Resolved Question:

Hello
I am a land lady who is being taken to court by my previous tenant for not paying their deposit into the deposit scheme when they moved in in 2008. I rent out 2 properties and was unaware of the law until it was bought to my attention in 2014 [by my plumber]. It was an innocent mistake.
I then deposited their £500 deposit into the scheme and passed over the management to a letting agency because i was finding one of the tenants very intimidating and accusational. The new management asked them to sign a new contract which they refused with the information required regarding the deposit scheme.
They have now moved out and have had their deposit back in full. They are now saying that the deposit was £525 and i ow them £25. Although the rent was £525 I only asked for £500 which one of the tenants paid to me in cash. This tenant moved out 5 years ago.
One of the tenants remained and she moved her boyfriend in with my permission about 3 years ago. It is her boyfriend now husband who has been very difficult. Unfortunately I have no proof that the deposit was £500 and she is saying that the first tenancy agreement which states the rent due is her proof of deposit. Although she did't pay it the previous tenant who left 5 years ago did.
As well as the amount of the deposit they are taking me to court for not paying into the government scheme when she moved in and for not giving her the correct information about the scheme when i did deposit the deposit. The management company have written me a letter of proof that they offered them all the details required in the contract that they didn't want to sign.
So the wrote to me saying if I didn't pay the £1600 they would take me to court - which they are now doing. If you any advice for me on how to proceed i would be very grateful.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this
Alex Watts : For now please let me know why you didn't protect the deposit?
Customer:

Helow AlexBecause i wasn't aware of this law

Alex Watts : Do they have any evidence they paid the £500 please?
Customer:

Sorry for my delay.They say their evidence is the original Tenancy agreement they signed in 2008 where the rent states £525 a month. As far as I know that is all they have but they are saying that this contract proves that they have paid a £525 deposit.

Alex Watts : Did they pay a months rent as deposit ?
Customer: No they paid £500
Alex Watts : It's bad news I am afraid.
Alex Watts : The law requires that you protect the deposit. As you have not they are entitled to claim back x3 the deposit.
Alex Watts : But they have to prove that they paid £525 and not the £500
Alex Watts : if they can't show they have paid £525 then their claim will fail.
Alex Watts : Sadly you are liable for x3 the deposit.
Alex Watts : i am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest
Alex Watts : extra information for free - if you do get a ccj and pay within a month, then it will be cancelled.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: ok Thanks (I think!) - We realise that we will have to pay something even though we did protect it but to late. Will get fined x3 the amount or will it be up to the judges discression ie between 1 and 3 months?
Alex Watts : Yes a judge can decide.
Alex Watts : i am sorry it's not better news.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else?
Customer:

one last ting, a couple actually. So do I admit part of the claim in the county claim form?

Customer:

Sorry I keep pressing return and it sends my reply rather than starting a new paragraph. Anyway, would you say i don't need any representation? And finally I'm not sure what you mean about extra information for free - if you do get a ccj and pay within a month, then it will be cancelled?

Alex Watts :

File a defence - saying that you did not protect the deposit but that it was returned and that the tenancy has ended.

Alex Watts :

yes you dont need representation - you can do but you do not have to.

Alex Watts :

If you get a CCJ as a result of hearing but pay within a month it will be cancelled so you wont be blacklisted.

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Customer: Thanks v much Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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